Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bitter Melon Salad (Parikkai Salad)

This is not a joke; you really can make a delicious salad with bitter melon :D. But to give you fair warning, it is a salad for Bitter Melon afficianados or at least those who enjoy veggies with a bitter flavor.

It is really very simple to make; the trick is to cut the bitter melon and all the other veggies very thin - the thinner the better; a mandoline or a food processor is a great help with this. The preserved lime/lemon adds a fabulous touch; so do use it if you can. You may substitute middle eastern preserved lemon rind for the pickle.

The traditional thalippu/tadka is another way to add to the taste. Whether you add thalippu or not, bitter melon makes a delicious salad.

2 Servings


1 medium young Bitter Melon, very thinly sliced
2 Shallots, thinly sliced
1 hot green Chile, cored and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp rind from Lime/Lemon Pickle, finely chopped (optional)
2-3 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/2 Lime/Lemon, juiced
Sea Salt

Thalippu/Tadka: (Optional)
1 tsp oil
1 pinch Brown Mustard seeds
1 small pinch Asafetida
1 hot green chile, cored and chopped
1 stem fresh Curry Leaves, chopped fine


Sprinkle the bitter melon with salt to taste, and lightly crush with your fingers to bruise them. Place in a colander and drain the excess juices.

Blot the bitter melon slices dry using paper towels.

Combine all the veggies, lime/lemon rind, herbs; drizzle the lime juice and toss to coat.

Chill the salad for about 30 minutes so the flavors can develop.

If you are adding the thalippu, heat oil and with brown mustard seeds until they dance and pop, stir in the asafetida, and saute the green chile and curry leaves until soft; stir this into the prepared salad.

Toss to mix again before serving with your favorite meal. Enjoy!!

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